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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Max Nagl Ensemble: Live at Porgy & Bess Vienna

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There's no telling what Austrian woodwind artist Max Nagle will pull out of his stockpile of tricks. A premier progressive jazz acolyte and prominent improviser, he's an ideas man who has recorded for many prominent European avant-garde record labels. Here, Nagl's nonet sculptures a program formed on traditional concepts with a nouveau 'tude. But his concentrated focus and uncanny manner of bridging multiple gaps all at once, generates a source of inspiration. The live program intimates an air of rejuvenation. One of the more notable tracks is “Ippen Erger," a piece designed with complex rhythmic maneuvers that spark ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Max Nagl / Clemens Wenger / Herbert Pirker: Boulazac

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Austrian reedman and multi-instrumentalist Max Nagle has recorded for several, prominent European modern jazz labels. He's a master craftsman who resides as one of the wittiest performers within the new music and progressive jazz realms. From album to album, Nagl pulls previously undetected tricks out of his bag as his artistry equates to a marvel of invention to coincide with this democratic trio engagement.

With Boulazac, Nagl seamlessly fuses disparate genres into a jazzy feast. On the opening “Boongalow," he fuses a 4/4 1960s style rock vibe into a mood-evoking, prog-jazz motif, treated with sampling effects to counter ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Quartier Du Faisan; Flamingos

Some music frustrates stylistic pigeonholing. Max Nagl's is not that kind, but just the opposite, flitting from style to style with such facility and straight-faced fidelity that, in the end, it almost eludes categorization by simultaneously hugging several categories nearly to death. A steady gaze, however, makes no error: this is jazz. One of the most striking contrasts between European jazzers and their American counterparts is the former's ability to embrace unflinchingly seemingly outdated styles with gusto, while the latter seems to be always on the hunt for the new. Another contrast is the Europeans' refreshing humor, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Max Nagl Ensemble: Quartier du Faisan

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You could say that the Max Nagl Ensemble puts an exciting contemporary spin on classic-sounding material. Or you could say the group takes contemporary material and gives it a universally accessible classic sound. Either way, you'd be right. This is an extremely flexible and versatile outfit that's hard to pin down, and so fun-loving and spontaneous that you stand little chance of ever being able to do so.

Named for the area of Vienna in which the group performs, Quartier du Faisan is an extended demonstration--in the same way a magic act is a demonstration--of how the players navigate and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Max Nagl/Otto Lechner/Bradley Jones: Flamingos

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As one can usually expect from a record that prominently features a European accordionist, there's a certain Old World charm about Flamingos. Austrian saxophonist Max Nagl has built a characteristic lighthearted sophistication into his new trio recording. Both accordionist Otto Lechner and bassist Bradley Jones have previously collaborated with Nagl on earlier releases.

The often court-like atmosphere stands somewhat in contrast with Nagl's formal attention to Mingus (and specifically Live at Cafe Bohemia and Pre-Bird), but the two do share an emphasis on African American roots (check out the sauntering blues of “Bad Hotel" and the title track) ...



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